Research Methods Key Terms

Flashcards by littlei101, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by littlei101 over 7 years ago


Sociology (Research Methods) Flashcards on Research Methods Key Terms, created by littlei101 on 03/11/2014.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Validity The extent to which data gives a true picture of the subject being studied.
Objectivity When a researchers values do not affect their work.
Primary Data Information obtained directly by the sociologist.
Secondary Resources Information obtained from other sources and produced by someone other than the sociologist conducting the research.
Operationalise The process of defining a concept in a way which makes them measurable.
Gatekeeper A person who allows a researcher access to an individual or group
Sample Frame A list of al those from among which the sample will be selected
Random Sample A sample technique where everybody in the sample has an equal chance of selection.
Systematic Sample Any number is chosen at random (n) then every nth person in a sample frame is selected.
Stratified Sample A sample that takes note of and mirrors significant differences in the sample population, for example, gender, age, ethnicity.
Quota Sample As above but without the possibility of non-response, and with the respondents actually chosen by the fieldworker.
Snowball Sample sample that grows in number via personal relationships
Interpretivism The belief that all human actions are purposive and need interpreting, 'facts do not speak for themselves'.
Positivism The method of science
Hypothesis A statement that can be tested about the relationship between two or more variables
Lab Experiment An experiment conducted in specially built surroundings
Field Experiment An experiment conducted in everyday social settings
Hawthorne Effect Changes in behaviour of participants resulting from an awareness that they are taking part in an experiment
Pilot Study A preliminary study designed to identify any problems with the main study
Interviewer bias The effect that the interviewer has on the respondent's answers
Ethnography The study of the way of life of a group of people
Triangulation Combining different research methods and different types of data in order to check the validity and reliability of findings
Going Native Observer looses their objectivity as a researcher and begins to identify with the group to the point that they become one of them. (the researcher becomes bias)
Event Sampling This is where the researcher records an event every time it happends, e.g tick a box
Time Sampling This is where the researcher decided on a time. E.g every minute and records what behaviour is occuring at that selected time.
Unstructured Observation This is where the researcher records the behaviour they see- in note form - producing qualitative data.
Structured Observation This is here the researcher decidees upon a pre-determined list of behaviours. The researcher uses a coding scheme to systematically catergorise behaviours observed.
Methodological pluralism where the sociologist employ more than one method
Independent variable The variable that is changed/manipulated
Dependent variable The variable that is measured
Extraneous variables Variables other than the IV that could affect the DV
Confounding variables Variables other than the IV that will affect the DV
Control group Doesn't experience the independent variables
Hawthorne effect Research participants may behave differently because they know they are being studied/ The presence of the researcher affects the responses of the participant.
Ecological Validity The extent to which the conditions of the researcher refelects normal everyday life.
Representativeness The extent to which a sample mirrors the key characterisrics of the target population under study.
Generalisiablity Results obtained from a sample can be applied to the target populationas a whole. Results can only be generalised if the sample is in some way representative.
Social Desirability Bias Respondents present themselves in a positive light in order to please or impress the researcher
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